Italian soccer is coming back in full force in just a couple of days. On June 20, Serie A is set to begin a sequence of 124 to be played within 44 days. But the fans’ cravings for dynamic ball-kicking action were catered to earlier – by the return of the Coppa Italia.
The first game of the semi-finals (the second leg of Juve vs Milan) was successfully played on June 12. A day later, on June 13, fans enjoyed watching Napoli and Inter decide who’s going to play in the finals. The main game of the Coppa Italia was played on June 17.
Although there have been talks about extending the existing broadcasting contracts to allow more people to see the event, even the extraordinary COVID-19 circumstances didn’t get in the way of capitalism. But at least Coppa Italia was broadcasted as usual.
Italy’s officials had implemented the softer restrictions on cinemas and theaters that allow a small number of people to visit cultural establishments, but unfortunately, that did not apply to soccer, as the games were still held behind closed doors.
As for the quarantine measures, the soccer administrators decided to isolate the whole team whenever a player has tested positive for the coronavirus. Testing will be widespread and will affect everyone involved, from stadium staff to managers.
But the policy has the potential to bring the Italian soccer to a halt once again, as there is no pre-planned scenario on how to deal with one of the teams being isolated for two weeks.
Juventus vs Milan
The battle escalated quickly. Just 16 minutes in, Ronaldo had already missed the penalty for Juventus. Milan’s Rebic followed Hernandez’s example from the previous leg and got a red card in minute 17 of the match.
Despite Milan’s perseverance, the game resulted in a draw, which launched Juventus to the finals due to a 1-1 result on San Siro in February.
Napoli vs Inter
The second semi-final began with a second-minute goal from Eriksen, which elevated the hopes of Inter fans. Inter needed to win as they lost the previous leg 0-1, but Napoli had other plans.
Mertens tied the score a few minutes before the first half ended, and the game ended in a draw that favored Napoli.
Napoli vs Juve
The final game was a tough bout between the two soccer giants, but the pressure was more on Juventus than Napoli. Thanks to luck, Buffon’s mastery, and the tight-knit defense, the game eventually resulted in a draw which meant penalties.
But Juve wasn’t flawless in shoot-outs either. Dybala and Danilo failed to hit the net while Napoli’s Insigne and Politano moved the score to 2-0. Despite successful penalties from Juve’s Bonucci and Ramsey, Napoli did not waste their advantage and finished the game with a confident 4-2 win.
Coppa Italia was not the most fruitful event in terms of goals, but it certainly brought tension and excitement to the fans all over the world. There was never a full dominance from one particular team, and nobody could predict how the game would play out in the next few minutes.
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